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“Escaping the modern world to tropical paradise!”
Review of The Reef Chalets

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The Reef Chalets
Reviewed September 7, 2013

Reef Chalets - stayed Sept 2012 - travelling in a couple (30s) and mother (60s). Perhentian Besar has no banks, ATMs, roads, cars - it's a tropical, peaceful paradise for getting away from the modern world! With turquoise waters, beautiful beaches and an abundance of wildlife (monitor lizards, little fruit bats, skink tree lizards, flying lemurs roosting in the trees, green-crested lizards)....to name a few!

Location
Fantastic location - the beach directly in front of Reef Chalets is quiet with calm waters for swimming, ok snorkelling and a few hammmocks for relaxing. 5 mins walk from the best beach in the Perhentian islands at Perhentian Island Resort. For the best snorkelling, go left of the jetty/PI Resort to see turtles, blue spotted sting rays, black tip baby reef sharks, moray eels, puffer fish, box fish, and other tropical fish!

Reef chalets sends a small boat to meet you from the speedboat ride from the mainland. The speedboat from Kuala Besut jetty was 70RM per person return, 30 mins (if not choppy waters). From Kota Bharu airport to Kuala Besut jetty is 70-80RM per car one way. Easy enough to just sort out when you arrive (no need to book ahead in Sept time).

Accommodation
We stayed in a seaview deluxe fan chalet (100RM per room per night) and seaview a.c deluxe chalet 160RM per chalet per night) for 2 nights, before moving to the Beach family a.c suite (290 RM per 2 rooms suite per night) for 4 nights.

The chalets (fan & a.c) are beautiful, wooden, traditional Malay style chalets, situated in a semi-circle (so all have an ocean view) surrounding a garden. The deluxe chalets were spacious, very clean, secure, (no safes, but you can hand in valuables into the safe in reception), had queen sized beds with mosquito nets, each with your own, private balcony and en suite bathroom.

There was a shared kitchen out the back, which guests are free to use. Handy for an early morning cup of coffee to enjoy on the balcony!

The family suite is directly on the beach. Note, the 2 rooms have an open doorway to each other (so, slight lack of privacy). The balcony on the beach is an absolute treat to wake up to, go for a swim or watch the sunset. We had monkeys come and visit us on our balcony in the mornings!

Staff
Rashidah is a lovely host, who was very responsive to emails, answered all my questions, gave lots of information and was very understanding when we had trouble with a bank transfer for the deposit. The other staff were also polite, friendly and helpful. Kah Mah, the lovely local lady who cleans the chalets will make you a tasty curry & pratha breakfast for a bargain! Thank you to Rashidah and the wonderful staff!

No restaurant, but enough food options within a 5-10 min walk.

Things to do: easy 1.5 jungle trek (you can see monitor lizards, monkeys and ther wildlife), scuba diving (one of the best dive sites in Asia - Tokong Laut/Temple of Seas) - we dived with Pro Diver's World, snorkelling trip - goes to 3 different sites. Most of all - relax and watch the calm ocean. I would definitely stay at Reef Chalets again!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank CharlieandAl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 3, 2013

We spent one night in a "Seaview Deluxe – a/c RM180/night 1 Queen Bed; Hot shower" chalet. We had meant to stay longer but August is a busy time and we had no reservation. (We had tried to make a reservation a few months earlier via email but after our second email we hadn't received any response. Still don't know how we should have reserved.) The chalet was clean, the bathroom as well, the warm water (typical British-style electric heater) worked, and we had a mosquito net (useful) but like all the accomodation on Pulau Perhentian Besar, it's nothing special and could do with a renovation - but all the chalets on the island appear to resemble each other more or less.
The nice and different thing about the Reef is that it is only a 5 min walk to the most beautiful beach on the island (in front of Perhentian Island Resort) and a good restaurant (Watercolours) but it feels more laid back and friendly than the other bigger resorts. The chalets are somewhat set back from the beach close to the forest, which means you don't have other tourists walking by all the time and you get to have monkeys hanging off your chalet. We did both their snorkeling trips, which were great and not as expensive as at other places on the island. Would stay there again.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kidthecat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2013

We spent a week at Reef Chalets, and were impressed with the basic, reasonably priced accommodation. Our cabin was sparkling clean, with an efficient bathroom and comfortable beds. The fan and air conditioning were up to scratch, keeping our chalet nice and cool. The staff were very polite and helpful. There were plenty of nice restaurants a quick walk away. The accommodation was extremely near the beautiful beach. Quiet and peaceful, Reef Chalets was a relaxing place to be. There were comfortable hammocks right by the sand. Snorkelling was wonderful; we saw all sorts of gorgeous fish, turtles and even sharks and sting rays. We had a great stay at Reef Chalets.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Family Room - apart from the cold water it was fine.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank 311travelgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2013

it was a nice place, you need to insist on air con and hot water, as not all chalets have this.
it is not very far from turtle bay divers, food at mama's was good and reasonable. coral view was also next to the reef, with pro divers, but turtle bay divers were more friendly compared to pro divers.
this part of the island is great you get to play beach volley, you just need to start and people will join in. people there are friendly. :D

Room Tip: ask for air con and hot water if this is what you want.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ttp1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2013

My wife and I spent 10 days at The Reef Chalets. We found the staff to be very helpful and friendly. The island is absolutely beautiful. The deluxe chalets nearest to the water are worth every penny. We enjoyed relaxing on our porch, diving with Turtle Bay divers, and playing volleyball with the locals in the evenings. There is some good food next door, and the woman who cleans the chalets can provide a local curry breakfast in the morning. The only inconvenience was the wire transfer required for deposit.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank russellm2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2013

Positive:

- Nice, spacious wooden bungalows
- Nice "garden"
- Very good water pressure and heat

Negative:

- Bad smell in the back of the resort which was also in our bathroom
- Bungalows are quite expensive and not cleaned during the stay (maybe you have to ask for it, I just expected to be asked if I wish this kind of service)
- no curtains, so quite bright
- The only "bar" at the island is basically a restaurant which negatively profits from the music which is played of a taxi boat operates who has chosen to settle his business just in front of the resort. Sometimes this guy gets drunk and does not notice that he is the only person who likes this annoying music.
- the beach is not the best for snorkeling and swimming. It smells to petrol due to the huge amount of boats anchoring just a couple meters away.

Summarized, this is definitely one of the better places on the island although next time I might opt for something different as the music got quite disturbing.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Peterpanda1337
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

Stayed here for 4 nights as a family of 4.
Could not have been happier with the choice of accomodation. Most of all, we were made to feel so welcome from the fabulous staff. We had a family chalet which is only a year old and it was simple,neat and tidy, with fabulous views of the grounds and beach.We would definately go back as the price was reasonable but most importantly the service impecable.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank sarahwally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Reef Chalets

Address: Pulau Besar | Perhentian Islands, Pulau Perhentian Besar, Malaysia
Location: Malaysia > Terengganu > Pulau Perhentian Besar
Amenities:
Beach
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Pulau Perhentian Besar
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Reef Chalets is a cosy small place with 12 Chalets arranged in a half moon shape in a lush tropical garden with big trees and grass area. ... more   less 

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